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Archive for May, 2013

Hard Day Gems

I was thinking to myself earlier today how there’s no way that I’m going to get a blog in for the month of May, as I have yet to finish my birth story which I’ve been meaning to work on. But, here I sit, compelled to write.

It’s been a hard day. Last weekend was wonderful with lots of fun time with the family. Yesterday and the day before both went smoothly. Today was another animal.

I woke up to Baird opening and closing a door. Hard. In my dream, bombs were going off in the distance. As I got my bearings, I realized what was going on and got up to intervene before he woke up the rest of the family. He’s not supposed to get up before James’ alarm goes off at 5:20, and when I realized that that was about a minute away, I had him lay down on the couch and told him that Papa would tell him he could get up soon.

James got up, Baird got off the couch, and I visited with him while James showered. Afterward I realized that I was still unusually tired. I went back to bed, but got up when James wanted to visit. After James left, all the kids were up but I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. I couldn’t figure out why I was still so sleepy at my normal waking time. I went back into the room where Evolet was still sleeping and crashed. I figured I’d get a few minutes worth of snoozes before she woke up. That turned into an hour and a half nap. I had the fan on in the room as white noise, so I could just barely hear stomping and running and laughing and dumping of Legos in the living room.

I felt better when I woke up again at 8. I looked at my wild and happy kids who hadn’t fought and had kept the toddler out of trouble while I slept. The living room was a disaster and they were hungry so I knew that I’d have to serve breakfast and give some structure to the day before everyone broke down in tears. After I served breakfast, Evolet finally woke up. She woke with a horribly stuffy nose which kept her from nursing well. She kept choking and spitting up because she was ravenously hungry. The sick little girl finally fell asleep in my arms but if I tried to lay her down, she’d wake up almost immediately every time. Round and round we went nursing, chocking, burping, spitting up, sleeping, waking. I took a hot shower and had her in the room so she could breathe. The kids did chores. It wasn’t until 11:00 that I ate some breakfast. Then we did it all over again and again. She didn’t take a single nap out of my arms. My neck was aching. I just had enough of her happy time to put together lunch and dinner. I sent the kids away to watch movies so they wouldn’t wake her or startle her, causing her to choke. Then I had them eat lunch and go outside. All the while, I was just trying to help Evolet successfully eat and sleep. I felt so bad that I couldn’t spend my usual time with my big kids, reading, cleaning, talking, doing schoolwork. I felt bad that I couldn’t just sit in a chair with Evolet all day, as I would have done with Aslan when he was little and sick. I was just waiting for bedtime and feeling defeated.

James came home having also had a long hard day. He commented how it sucked when we both had hard days at the same time, and one couldn’t swoop in and save the other. He wished he could save me from my tough day, but after putting Baird to bed, he fell asleep on the couch.

Then time for our bedtime routine came. I nursed Evolet to sleep once. Twice. I was hoping that she’d be exhausted enough to stay asleep, but no. She awoke and cried and couldn’t breathe. I rocked her and read “A Little Princess” to the big kids. We were just getting past the part where Miss Minchin finds out that Sara’s father is dead and Sara has become a poor beggar though Sara doesn’t know yet, when Evolet won’t stay quiet any longer. I had to stop reading mid-chapter.

Though inside I felt super frustrated that I couldn’t even have this special time with my big kids who’d been neglected all day, I tried to make the best of it by just talking with them. We talked about how Becky cares about Sara, but what do the grownups all seem to care about? Money. The kids all got it, and were saddened by it. This reminded me of the article and trailer that James and I had seen last night about the Baby Box in South Korea. A pastor put a box in the wall of his house as an alternative to abandoning a baby to die. As I held our fussy baby, I told the kids about it. They were very moved. Instead of being resentful of Evolet and her neediness, my heart was changed to be thankful to get to take care of her. All of the kids looked upon her lovingly. It was a special moment. We talked about how helpless babies are sometimes left by the side of the road to die, and Liesel begged that if we ever found one that we’d bring it home. I told her yes we would, but that I’d never seen one and that I’d heard of bad guys leaving a car seat by the side of the road as a trick to rob people who stopped. We also had to be careful and wise. We talked about the wickedness of the world. Shiloh referred to the Coldplay song “We Live in a Beautiful World” and said that that song was lying. So we talked again about God’s perfect creation and how there is still that mark on the earth, even while there is such wickedness and sin.

Aslan jumped in with a story that went something like this. “If bad guys have a baby deer that they swaddle and put in a car seat to make it look like there is a baby, and then a Mama and a Papa deer hear it, they could run at the bad guy and the Papa could pick the car seat up with his antlers and throw it on the Mama’s back and she could run off in the woods while the Papa deer fought the bad guy.” I told Aslan that he was a great story teller and that he could write and illustrate a book about that. After a few more minutes of Aslan’s talking, Shiloh produced this picture:

Drawings 001

Instead of a Mama and Papa deer, it’s a deer and a moose. I thought it was a pretty great drawing! The deer is jumping over the traps, but the bad guy is going to step into them, and be confronted with an angry moose. All to save a baby!

Liesel also drew some pictures of baby boxes with warm lights to save babies. In her story the babies are in trucks.

Drawings 004

I love those kids. Even after a day of losing their mother to the care of a fussy baby, and this mother being frustrated at not feeling energetic or getting quality time with them, here they are having compassion on babies and being fiercely protective of their baby. Before we prayed I made a special effort to hold each of them on half of my lap (while bouncing Evolet on the other half) and cuddle and chat with them for a minute. It’s strange that on the day that I was feeling like I had nothing to offer my children, we had some of the best time and conversation that we’ve had for a while.

A verse (one that I’ve been thinking to myself a lot lately) went through my head. “His mercies are new every morning.” I was surprised when I looked it up the other day and found that it’s located in the book of Lamentations. I need that. I’m thankful for the time I got with the kiddos tonight, and I look forward to tomorrow when hopefully we’ll all be feeling a bit better. I’m thankful that even though I felt like I was ready for the day to be over as it was just beginning, it turned out to hold some very special gems. I am thankful that I serve a God who is big enough to turn a day that doesn’t go anything like I’d expected, into something beautiful.

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